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Revealing my disinterest in ice cream always draws a lot of incredulity on the behalf of the listener. Sometimes the reaction is decidedly offended, as though ice cream were treasured family moment I just figuratively dismissed with a bored wave of my hand. Other times it’s complete confusion. What did you just say? What do you mean, you “don’t like ice cream?” You must like some kind of ice cream. And it’s not like I hate the stuff, it’s just that I don’t care much for it, and if I’m going to down a thousand calories in the span of 10 minutes, I’d rather it be noodles I drag from takeout carton to pursed lips with some bamboo sticks.

But every now and again, I have this crazy craving for a banana split. And you know, I’m a simple girl in that respect: banana, vanilla ice cream, walnuts, chocolate bits, butterscotch and of course, a maraschino cherry. With this in mind I present a take on blondies that is a little lighter than usual and reminiscent of a banana split.

Butter. Sugar. The usual.

I’d like to use this opportunity to let you know, in case you didn’t, that a kitchen scale is a wise investment because then you don’t have to pack brown sugar, which is one of those things that just seems to completely interrupt the flow of my baking process. Similarly, you don’t have to sift your flour in order to measure it only to sift it again into the mixing bowl. And your scale has other uses that will no doubt come up in future recipes as I loudly bang the “really, just get a kitchen scale already” drum.

I thought that these bananas looked rather . . . conversational.

Conversational.

By now we all know to use very ripe bananas in our baking, and by necessity I often end up freezing them too, in an attempt to salvage that lone straggler at the end of the week. This is a convenient circumstance, as freezing then thawing the fruit bursts cells and brings out as much flavour as is possible from it. At least, that’s my understanding, but the actual fact that pre-frozen fruit is better for baking, for whatever reason this is the case, is confirmed by on Mr. Alton Brown who was rambling on in his weird way about it one Sunday afternoon a couple years ago as I nursed a hangover on the couch.

Wheat germ is one of those things I haven’t experimented with very much, but it has an unobtrusive nuttiness that avoids being too earthy. Of course, I’ve only had opportunity to pair it with quite a bit of sugar, so maybe this is different in other contexts. Also, walnuts and chocolate chips.

GERM! EWWW! Jk, it's the good kind.

I polka dotted the top with some maraschino cherries. Because they really do scream ice cream, and it was the cutest thing I could think for a garnish.

Before:
Polka dot cherries.

After (all gummy from baking, yum!):
DSC_3532

I find that full-on brownie size (more than 3″ on a side!) is just way too big, and really, after the first half I’m eating it because I don’t really want to hold onto the rest. With this in mind, I cut to the chase and halved the usual size. Triangles seem to make the split look more deliberate and less “shit, too many people showed up.”

Blonde triangles.

These had just the perfect brownie-imitative texture. They weren’t too cakey, but had a lovely rise to them, avoiding the heavy greasiness of some blondie recipes. Of course, sacrificing that greasiness also sacrifices that amazing chewy crustiness, but the edges on these things are still quite satisfying.

Perfect consistency.

And while the intention was to have a bar that really embraced a banana split all on its own, I would be seriously remiss if I had not tried it with a simple vanilla ice cream.

Banana split blondie!

 

 

Banana Split Blondies

1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c light brown sugar (147g)
2 tsp vanilla
4 very ripe bananas (previously frozen is best), mashed
1 egg
1 c whole wheat flour (125g)
1 c white flour (125g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c wheat germ (optional)
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts
24 maraschino cherries, drained

Preheat oven to 350o.

Cream butter & sugars, add vanilla, bananas and egg. Sift wheat & white flours along with the baking powder into the mix, then combine. Stir in wheat germ, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Spread into well-greased 9×13 metal baking pan—a glass pan will bake differently, so be aware. Dot with staggered maraschino cherries, three to a row, eight to a column.

Bake 35 minutes, and allow to cool completely before cutting. To get the triangle thing going on, first cut into a 3×4 grid (12 pieces), then cut each rectangle diagonally so each piece has one cherry.

The refuse.

nutrition summary: (1 of 24 bars) 174 calories, 7g fat, 1g fiber; about 4 weight watchers points

  1. Perfect consistency. | Cherry Taste Said,

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  2. spirou Said,

    Wow,i don’t really like ice cream either! And people have the same reaction when i tell them.

  3. pockafwye Said,

    Must… try… these.

  4. Adagio Said,

    What?! This “I don’t like ice cream” business is all news to me. Remember Coffee Toffee Crunch?! Seriously, this is disappointing.

  5. anna Said,

    Those are really cute, especially the cherries on top! I do like me some ice cream but severe lactose intolerance keeps my consumption in check.

  6. siri Said,

    I think ugly, overripe bananas take some of the best food photos.

    Onto your blondies- these look awesome and I give you a gold star on creativity.

    Bookmarked.

    -Siri

  7. dawn Said,

    Ohhhh must try these indeed! Ripe, really ripe bananas are the best for baking.

  8. Qte Said,

    i have been following your blog for some time now and in one word, i think you are “amazing!” and to add another word you are “super-creative.” i am not a big fan of bananas but you made them sound so yummy and you pictured them so deliciously that i have to go try them. thank you! love, Qte.

  9. Sara Said,

    Just recently discovered your site – and I’m loving it. I will so be trying these… And thanks for putting in the WW breakdowns.

  10. Pearl Said,

    i love the little dots of red cherries :)

  11. stephchows Said,

    mmmmmmmmm seriously good and tasty idea!! I’m loving the cherries studding the top! I think I watched that Alton Brown show recently… best way to make banana ice cream is to freeze them first then thaw :) Although the thought of banana ice cream kind grosses me out…

  12. Apollo Said,

    I’ve recently been telling every foodie I know to check out your blog. What with the recent overpopulation of bananas (they’re gross) I will have to warn them ahead of time.

    Seriously though your pictures make this look delicious. Even with gross bananas. :-)

  13. Katie Said,

    These look so good! I’m definitely going to start freezing my super ripe bananas. Did you know that 90% of what I do in the kitchen is because Alton Brown told me to do it? I don’t know if I should be ashamed of this, but I’m not! Ashamed, that is.

  14. Mu Said,

    Oh mannnnn…those look insane-o good.

  15. Lesley Said,

    Wow, these look amazing. I cannot wait to try them! Just wish I had a better camera to capture them in all their banana goodness

  16. Amanda Said,

    Bananas and chocolate chips never fail.

  17. wohou Said,

    Thank you for providing me the recipe for my birthday cake.
    Very, very good timing :)

  18. raych Said,

    And the award for most ambiguous adjective goes to…CONVERSATIONAL!!!!

  19. Trilby Said,

    I made these on Friday, with some variations. My boys won’t eat anything with nuts and I had no access to the cherries. And they looked completely different from yours, inside, for whatever reason, but man oh man, were they ever good!

  20. Heidi Said,

    OMG I had no idea something like this existed! I love brownies but my bf doesn’t like chocolate. This is like Christmas!

  21. s@bd Said,

    Perfect timing – I just happened to have had four bananas on their way to the freezer …

    I made this recipe entirely in my mixer – delicious!

  22. Sneh | Gel's Kitchen Said,

    Puts these on her to-do-ASAP list! Thanks for sharing :-)

  23. Jewel Said,

    OMG. I made these to bring into work, and I’m now the official office super star. Thanks!

  24. Lisa Said,

    Used margarine instead of butter and left out the wheat germ and cherries. Also, I put the batter in a metal loaf pan instead of a 9×13 pan. It turned out wonderfully and is absolutely delicious!! Thank you for the recipe!

  25. becky Said,

    mine turned out almost cake-y…they didn’t look anything like yours! i didn’t have wheat germ, so maybe that was the problem..? if i made them again (which i plan to) i’m thinking of halving the flour maybe?

  26. Teresa Said,

    If you are looking for wheat germ experiments, I found that adding wheat germ (along with a bit of vanilla extract) to my pancakes will add a particularly cookie like flavor.

  27. Noelle Said,

    Hi there. I agree with Becky. I even veganized these tonight and they came out more cakey than brownie or blondie like. They were STILL very delicious but not in the blondie category. I still thank you though!! :D

  28. Marisa giguere Said,

    Hey! I found your lovely recipe while searching for other unique ways to cook with over ripe bananas and I just had to give this a try! So I literally have it baking right now and needless to say my kids and I are gleaming with anticipation lol. Thanks for sharing this!! :)

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